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Runaways



Wolverine (2nd series) # 2

Issue Date: December 1988

Story Title: Possession is the Law

Staff: Chris Claremont (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Klaus Janson (inker), Glynis Oliver (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief).

Brief Description:
Wolverine, disguised as Patch, joins Lindsay McCabe in Madripoor’s Lowtown, to meet with Jessica Drew, who has been set up to deliver a mystical samurai sword to someone evil. Wolverine allows Lindsay to remain at the bar while he searches the hotel for Jessica. Instead, he finds several corpses at the end of the scent trail, killed by the Silver Samurai. They fight briefly, but are interrupted by Jessica Drew, who has been possessed by the sword she was carrying, the Black Blade. Jessica attacks both men. Lindsay helps to evacuate the bar, and Logan brings the roof down on Jessica and the Samurai. Lindsay rescues the Samurai, while Logan and Jessica escape to fight for the Black Blade. Wolverine is cut several times, but eventually allows Jessica to slice into his hand so that he can pull the blade from her, and Jessica reverts to her normal self. However, as the Silver Samurai finds them to recover the magical sword, they find that Logan and the sword are now one - and Wolverine was the master that the sword had been searching for.

Full Synopsis:
Madripoor, Lowtown - Lindsay McCabe enters a bar, hoping to find her old friend Jessica Drew. Instead, she is greeted by nothing more than the ugly faces of dozens of drunks, each ogling the pretty young American girl. In a matter of seconds, a group of thugs stands up from a table to grab Lindsay. Before they can harm her, Wolverine steps through the door and removes his hat, revealing an eyepatch. Logan stares the crowd down, and tells them that Lindsay is with him. The punks sit down quietly.

Logan reminds Lindsay that she wasn't to set foot in Lowtown. Lindsay answers that their contact arranged to meet Jessica in this bar. Logan reckons that Lindsay has brains - she knows that the "contact" was an impostor, and the real contact chose this place because it is ideal for stealing the merchandise and leaving the courier's body behind. Of course, the merchandise in question is a sword that Jessica took to Madripoor a week earlier.

The partners approach the bar and order some drinks. Patch smiles as the barmaid pours Lindsay the same drink he just ordered. Lindsay attempts to show off by downing the whole thing in one gulp, but falls to the floor, and staggers to her feet again. Lindsay asks what was in it, but as the barmaid is explaining, Lindsay cuts her off and reveals that she already knows it is a Long Island Iced Tea. The barmaid asks if Lindsay is from that area - she is, from Massapequa. The lady reacts cheerfully, revealing that her name is Belle, and she is from Amityville. Lindsay introduces herself, and asks a question about their old home. Before Belle can answer, Patch interrupts and reminds Lindsay that they came her for business. Logan tells her that she is to stay in the bar while he goes upstairs to the inn. He instructs Belle to watch over her.the girl, and heads upstairs. Lindsay groans, and complains that she can take care of herself. As Logan leaves, the drunks begin drooling over her again. Quickly, Belle offers to let her tend bar. Lindsay jumps over the bar, and lands on her head on the floor.

Upstairs, Patch reminisces about how the world thinks that Wolverine is dead, and how he can't ruin that for the other X-Men. Earlier, he remembers how the caper started with a skyjacked 747, and his friend Kojima dying in his arms. Kojima warned him to keep the muramasa sword away from the Cult of the Black Blade, and Logan took care of the cult representatives earlier.

He catches Jessica's scent down the hall, and follows it, hoping that the former Spider-Woman is still alive. However, he is suddenly overwhelmed with dread, and breaks down one of the doors, finding a pile of dead bodies, all sliced to death with a katana. Logan goes further into the room to face his enemy, and finds the Silver Samurai in front of him. Wolverine knows that the Samurai will recognize him if he fights properly, and that will blow the X-Men's cover. As a result, Logan's holding back gives Harada the advantage - and gets stabbed in the process. Harada creeps over to Logan's body, wonering how he can fight so much better than a regular gaijin. However, before the Samurai can learn the secret of Patch, the wall explodes, and Jessica Drew reveals herself, carrying the Black Blade.

Downstairs, Lindsay is enjoying her new kimono, showing herself off in the mirror, when suddenly, Jessica and the Silver Samurai burst through the stairwell. Lindsay is startled at her friend‘s strange new leather-clad look, and Jessica surely isn't acting like herself, speaking like a Japanese warlord.

Jessica and the Samurai continue their fight in the bar, bringing the room down around the patrons. The goons in the bar realize that Jessica is holding the vaunted Black Blade, and that they can claim a handsome reward if they recover it. However, as one pulls a gun on the Samurai, he is surprised as Kenuchio blocks each bullet with a swipe of his katana. The Samurai speaks of the legend of the Black Blade - that all who wield the blade are possessed by it's demonic essence - except for the one warrior destined to be it's true master - and the unholy bond that would form can only be cured by the death of the master.

Lindsay, still drunk, tries to get involved in the fight, as Jessica is her best friend. However, Jessica turns to her, and tells Lindsay that her friend is now dead - as she will soon be. Logan jumps in the way quickly, saving the girl. The Samurai continues his futile effort against Jessica, but can barely hold his own. Wolverine thinks to himself how much he's cherished the few true friends he's made, and since Jessica's on that list, if he can't peacefully break her possession, then killing her is an act of mercy. He pops his claws, and begins tearing therest of the building down around the two fighters. Wolverine figures that the Samurai's armor will save him, though he doesn't care if it doesn't. He also gambles that the force controlling Jessica will save her, which it does - and Jessica quickly scales a wall. Logan is shocked, as he had thought she had lost her Spider-Woman powers. Logan pulls Lindsay from the wreckage, and gives chase to Jessica.

Lindsay uncovers the Silver Samurai, and threatens to kill him - but proclaims that she can't kill another human, and helps him up. The Samurai reacts with honor, asking for his sword and thanking her. Lindsay tells the Samurai: "A life for a life, yours for Jessica's." Before he can respond, a crack in the floor causes Lindsay to fall, but the Samurai catches her in time, as she would have fallen far. The Samurai proclaims that they stand even. Lindsay tells him that she is staying with him to watch what he does.

Elsewhere, Wolverine is hunting Jessica, still under the influence of the blade. He tries to engage her in combat, but finds that he can barely keep up with her now. Jessica knocks Logan to the ground, and continues to run away. Wolverine chases her, and continues to fight. The possessed woman asks why the dog will not cease his actions. Wolverine finally realizes that he must fight his best to save Jessica. He uses his claws to block a swipe from the Blade, but it causes sparks, which ignite sawdust in the nearby warehouse. Logan doesn't notice the fire, he begins to slip into his berserker rage, where all his reasoning is lost to his animal instincts. Jessica leaps to the roof of the warehouse, and Logan follows.

Above, Jessica waits for Wolverine to climb the ladder, then swings her sword. Logan catches the blade with his bare hand, sending blood everywhere. He rips it from her grasp. As Logan is about to kill Jessica, a voice comes from within the Black Blade - telling Wolverine to rejoice, for he and the Blade are destined to be one. Jessica is enveloped in smoke, and is returned to her civilian clothing. The Blade instructs Wolverine not to fight what is in his soul. Logan is transformed by the weapon, and his clothing changes to a leather ninja outfit. He picks up Jessica's unconscious body, and proclaims: "With this woman's sacrifice, the bond that's been forged can NEVER be broken!"

Characters:
Wolverine / Patch

Lindsay McCabe
Jessica Drew (formerly Spider-Woman I)

Silver Samurai

Belle
Bar patrons

Notes:
The world has believed the X-Men, along with Wolverine, dead since Uncanny X-Men #227 at the end of the Fall of the Mutants crossover. Wolverine keeps his cover as Patch to protect the secret of the X-Men.

Spider-Woman lost her powers in Avengers (1st series) #241. Some time later Julia Carpenter assumed the role of Spider-Woman.

This Issue has been reprinted in:
Wolverine Classic Vol. 1 (Trade Paperback)
Essential Wolverine Vol. 1 (Trade Paperback)

Issue Summary written by: Archangel (Jason Godin)


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